Kwekwe (New Ziana) – Chrome smelting company, Zimasco Kwekwe division has put in place stringent measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus among its workforce ahead of the re-opening of the company which was closed in March due to Covid-19.
Zimasco had four workers who tested positive to Covid-19. The workers have however, fully recovered. The Kwekwe plant has 450 full-time employees and 500 contract workers.
Addressing journalists during a safety and health tour of the plant, Zimasco general manager for Kwekwe division, Namatai Mapfumo and the group health, safety, environment and quality assurance manager Bright Chitiki emphasized that they won’t be any loopholes in enforcing Covid-19 guidelines and regulations outlined by government and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The company went an extra mile and drafted a Covid-19 safety and health policy document enshrined by authorities as well as setting up the Covid-19 response team.
“We have been on shut down since the end of March because our product markets were ravaged by the novel Coronavirus and we were no longer taking our products and at the same time our government implemented the national lockdown.
“As we restart operations, we have put in place measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 at our different workplaces starting from the homes of our workers.
“All workers and visitors to our premises will be screened, anyone who fails the RDT test and come out positive will be temporarily isolated at our temporary isolation centre where the nurses will do a PCR test and all the cases will be handed over to the district Covid-19 response team. We have set up our own isolation centre for our workers at a house in Chicago which accommodates seven patients,” said Mapfumo.
Zimasco, he said, has made an arrangement with Unki Mines in Shurugwi for PCR testing.
“As we are about to resume operations, we called all our employees for Covid-19 testing. For now we do our meetings on Zoom as we want to safeguard the health of our workers,” said Mapfumo.
Chitiki said four of their workers who tested positive to Covid-19 have fully recovered.
“Prevention starts at home. We gave all our employees Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment which included sets of masks, hand sanitizers and we trained them on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at home.
“When we had RDT testing on our workers, 11 tested positive when PCR testing was done, three were positive, two had mild symptoms. We did contact tracing and one of our employee who was at home had contact with one of the positive cases and he tested positive, all the four went into self quarantine at their homes.
“The four are now back at work after having fully recovered and cleared by our trained clinical staff. Our buses and vehicles are disinfected regularly and our drivers have thermometers for temperature checking, hand sanitizers and masks.
Chitiki said the rapid response team has come up with measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 and will be responsible for supervising and monitoring the Covid-19 regulations.
“The team also produced our own Covid-19 policy document which is being implemented to safeguard our workers at their different workplaces,” he said.
In its quest to have a Covid-19 free environment for its workers, Zimasco signed a Memorandum of Understanding MOU with CIMAS and is also working in partnership with Unki Mines, Kwekwe City Council, Kwekwe Polytechnic College and the Civil Protection Unit.